I call a timeout! I’m going to hold off from exploring Next Steps for the Easter break and instead focus on some books that I’ve been promising myself to read. First up is ‘Hygge In The Early Years’ by Kimberly Smith and it promises ideas for bringing calmness and appreciation into my day, two things that I definitely need!
I’m a sucker for two things:
Stylish book covers ✅
Danish things ✅
Therefore without even opening it I know that book is going to resonate with me!
In my previous blog I introduced the idea of Next Steps planning, exploring the rationale behind it and how it works in my setting. It provoked various questions and requests for more information so I thought I’d use this week’s blog to explore Next Steps planning a little further.
The beauty of Next Steps planning is that in one document you are recording initial ‘baseline’ skills, tracking progress and then using it as a direct talking point with your team, if you are lucky to have one, or senior leaders who want answers and information behind data. Instantly you are reducing your paperwork since one document is all it needs. You aren’t having to transfer information across several sources and this has the added bonus that it creates a sense of depth to what is ultimately a Microsoft Word table file. It sort of brings it to life. And if anything needs bringing to life it’s paperwork.
So let’s unpick Next Steps planning:
To truly plan for children, stop ‘planning’...
Along with marking, planning is one of many things that teachers just do. It consumes much of the week and can even dominate the weekend. We like to think that planning gives us a clear idea of progression, of what content comes next, of building on previous experience. In Early Years especially it can be seen as giving a context for learning and this leads to Pinterest Provision and Topic Teaching from half term to half term.
Planning reassures us and yet conversely it ensnares us too... We can find ourselves planning loveliness and task, rather than engagement and skill and in doing so we can find ourselves in the Planning Maze, sat up at 10:30pm still trying to think of things to put in the water tray.
If only there was a way to break free of the type of planning that seems to rob us of time and becomes a preoccupation...
Can I Go Play Now..? is committed to widening the understanding of the magic of children's play as an educational tool. Child-centred, play-based learning is where it's truly at....